The cult food company welovejam.com is the first company in the United States to start packing and labeling food products using a 100 percent biodegradable plastic bag.
"We have always felt it was important that our packaging was environmentally friendly," says welovejam.com Co-founder Eric Haeberli. "We just had no idea how much work was involved in finding a food grade plastic that was environmentally friendly."
Haeberli and Co-founder Phineas Hoang spent six months looking for some type of packaging that they felt good about using for their biscotti they planned to sell, but were surprised to find that all the plastic bags that dry food products such as cookies, bread, chips etc. are all packaged in plastic that is not recyclable.
"We were shocked by this and also depressed knowing that there are millions of tons of plastic going into landfills that is bad for the environment," says Hoang. "Unless we found a food safe container that was environmentally friendly, we couldn't sell our biscotti."
Fortunately, a customer told Haeberli and Hoang about a company that manufactures cellophane bags that are 100 percent biodegradable and made from specially farmed trees.
"We learned that natural, plant-based and biodegradable cellophane was used for many food products several decades ago but was replaced by synthetic non-recyclable and non-biodegradable plastic that is now confusingly called cellophane," says Haeberli. "Consumers today who buy food and care about the environment never know what type of plastic wrapper their food is in since packaging isn't marked to let them know."
"No one is using this natural cellophane right now, and we are the first," says Hoang.
The biscotti that welovejam.com started selling on their website last week explicitly states on the recyclable cardboard box that the bag inside containing the biscotti is biodegradable and that customers can add it to their compost bin or garbage guilt free.
"We are completely recyclable and biodegradable now," says Haeberli.